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Fitness program ‘strolls’ into town

Stroller Strides, a fitness group for moms and caregivers, strolled into town Wednesday, Sept. 5, for its grand-opening event at Carl Cowan Park.

Stroller Strides of Knoxville franchise owner, Stephanie Ramirez said, “I thought it was a great turnout. We had 17 [participants] and that was great considering I have only done grass-roots marketing, no real paid advertising.”

Stroller Strides was founded in 2001 in San Diego, Calif., and has over 300 locations and more than 15,000 participants nationwide and is open to all child caregivers

“It is a great way to get back in shape, as well as stay in shape,” Ramirez said. “We present a fun opportunity for the moms in the community to turn their strollers into a workout.

“We provide the outlet that moms need to enjoy time with other moms, while focusing on the much needed exercise to fuel their demanding lives.”

In a press release, Ramirez said that Stroller Strides instructors weave songs and activities into the routine designed to entertain and occupy the baby while the participant is led through a series of exercises incorporating stretch tubing, the stroller, the baby and the environment to create an outdoor gym.

Stroller Strides has been featured in publications such as Entrepreneur and Women’s Day magazines and on programs such as The Today Show and Access Hollywood. Its success comes from a franchise opportunity that supports motherhood.

“Mom’s are a really tight-knit group,” Ramirez said.

Stroller Strides of Knoxville’s charter member Michelle Replogle said, “ I first heard about [the program] in parenting magazines and looked online to see if there were any local groups and at the time there were not. Then I saw [this group] on and I was really excited.

“I decided to commit to it because I am still trying to loose some weight, and I thought it might be fun to be with a group. It’s a good way to improve my fitness as well as a social thing for me and the baby.”

Ramirez said the program is designed to accommodate expectant mothers, new mothers and mothers and caregivers of children up to age 4, “as long as they will stay in a stroller.

“I am a certified pre and post-natal instructor, so moms that are expecting can most certainly come. If they are comfortable with where they are in their pregnancy than they can absolutely exercise,” she said.

“We modify all of our exercises for the individual fitness level of [the participant], we provide the modifications, and she chooses the level of intensity that she wants.”

Stroller Strides instructors are certified through the American Council on Exercise.

Stroller Strides of Knoxville is currently meeting from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Carl Cowan Park.

“I run the business out of my home, and we will hold our classes in parks. In the winter months we will move indoors,” Ramirez said.

“Franchisee’s around the country use mall’s, churches, the Y-M-C-A and even Sam’s Club’s. It really runs the gamut where you can hold a Stroller Strides class. I am working on some of those partnerships right now,” she added.

Ramirez has several pricing arrangements for her classes including monthly memberships, try-it passes and pricing for single class participants.

“The first class is always free, and if you want to try it out a few more times before you commit, you can purchase a single class pass,” Ramirez said.

For additional information about Stroller Strides of Knoxville, call Stephanie Ramirez at 865-228-7062.


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